- Construction Drawing: Victory Star
- Decoration: Beijing 9h Design
- Client: Vanke
- Design Team: Wei Shi, Zewei Wen, Meilin Wang, g Yan Zhan, Qi Han, Wei Hong
- Logo Design: Beijing ShiYu Four-Dimensional City Signs system Co.,Ltd.
- City: Xicheng
- Country: China
Text description provided by the architects. On the urban stage, “Iconic” buildings play a leading role which attracts the most attention, but those “unremarkable” buildings act the invisible role in our daily life which to a greater extent form our city, affecting our lives. In Beijing, many of these old buildings have been built in recent decades, and a large proportion of them are no longer in line with the needs of urban development and are facing with the need for functional and structural transformation. A wider range of urban renewal has gradually become a new subject for architects.
Vanke, the owner of the project, as a service provider for urban life, has also made urban renewal an important focus in Beijing in recent years. The Xizhimen Port Apartment project is a renovation of “unremarkable” old building.
This project is located near Xizhimen Metro station, north of the Second Ring Road. It is a 10-story building that built in the ’80s. It used to be a hotel, a SPA, and a KTV. The main structure is composed of an L-shaped building and a three-story annex building on the east.
The south side of the project is a two-fork junction, naturally forming a triangular open space which is raised up 1m from the street, originally used as parking. After the transformation, the Triangle site has become a small square facing the street. Around the square, there are café and small shops, and combined with stepping landscape, together forming a rare nice open space in the old urban district. The main entrance of the apartment is located in the quiet corner of the square; behind the L-shaped main building, it is a small courtyard that includes gardens, open-air cinemas, and a small playground. This courtyard is the main outdoor space for apartment tenants.
The architect made different adjustments to each floor. By adding windows on the east and west side wall at typical floors, a more active urban interface is presented, at the same time, daylighting for each floor is increased by 50%. It provides flexible and private spaces for young tenants within a limited building area.
One the way home, the tenant will go by the café and retails around the corner plaza, through the colonnade underneath the colorful ceiling, then arrive in the building entrance. The ground floor is totally remodeled with many amenities options, including a shared kitchen, community living room, small theater, dining hall, and a shared courtyard etc., for the tenants to enjoy time and socialize.
Residence and clothing represent a person's temperament. Apartments designed for innovative young people naturally need a vibrant high level "good looking" facade. The original building has a large number of reinforced beams and columns exposed on the façade, with variant spacing; also the renovated facade needs to find space for the AC unit of each room. So the architect designed an aluminum window frame projecting out from an exterior wall.
The scale of the window frame increases at the building corner as if the entire building were twisting on the square to form a vivid city sculpture. Bright colors bring façade rich expression, the inside of the window sleeve changes from orange at the top to pale yellow at the bottom, like the color spectrum of the lunar eclipse, and also celebrating Beijing's golden autumn while the Port Apartment opens in October.